By Matthew Barrett
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Lord (Nigel) Vinson of Roddam Dene, a Conservative peer since 1985, has issued a warning to David Cameron – he will defect unless Conservative Europe policy shows a clear sign of changing towards a better-off-out position.
Vinson, who has been active in the Centre for Policy Studies, Civitas, Institute of Economic Affairs and Freedom Association, told The Journal, his local newspaper in Newcastle:
"Like many Tories, I will consider going to UKIP unless Cameron does something serious about repatriating powers. I and many others will leave the Conservative party unless we get a clear signal from Cameron because our relationship with Europe is extremely damaging and we would be better off out."
He also said that Boris Johnson would be in "pole position" to win the leadership, should David Cameron step down. However, he said "I don’t see a putsch coming. But I don’t see the Liberal Conservative coalition lasting and at that point anything could happen."
Clearly comments like these are disappointing – and defections even more so. However, they do hint at a discontent obviously felt by some activists and members of the more independent House of Lords.